Poem of the week: In The Wrong Quarter

A new work by Anne Haverty

 Poet and author Anne Haverty. Photograph: Lilliput Press

Poet and author Anne Haverty. Photograph: Lilliput Press


“The wind is in the wrong quarter”
they would mourn on the Great Blasket
when the wind cut from the east or north.

“We’ll have to change the door”. And they would
latch the “street” door, unfasten the back.

The “wrong door” a worry to the hens hopeful
of crusts, confusing the children and the dogs.
The house all out of place, turned back to front.

I would be like a Blasket Islander. Cast down
when the wrong wind would blow. Forlorn.

But I had you. You could appear
from another room, your face bright as a breeze
from the west or the south, lighting the gloom.

My hand warm in yours. We might play
one of our games. You philosophical Piers
setting the logs for the fire, me
melancholy Masha restless for elsewhere…
And the wind turned away, the sad plot
lost in our unstopped laughter.

I have no door.

There is no door, right or wrong, I can open
by which you might come in. Nothing 
to be done, to tell. Only to vainly follow
after that lost laughter.

The wind now 
always in the wrong quarter.

Anne Haverty is a novelist and a poet and a member of Aosdána. Her most recent collection is A Break in the Journey (New Island)